The best things to do to react to this: 1. Don't take the bait the Twitter is offering as far as antagonization or excessive coverage. 2. Accept a different definition of al-Shabaab's composition and goals and learn to differentiate its history from its current incarnation and its constituent elements from each other. 3. In Kenya, for the love of all that is good, step down on military actions in Somalia, do not take the bait, and certainly do not let the knowledge of al-Shabaab's aims translate into an exacerbation of an already at times tense situation between Somali communities and the Kenyan majority. That's the worst thing that could possibly happen, especially heading into the next year, which will be crucial for the Somali-Kenyan equation.
Meanwhile the porous and weak borders of the South provide a safe haven for rebels and militants in Sudan, allowing the Sudanese to direct scrutiny against the South as a destabilizing regime, when in fact it is just a de facto weak state. Southern independence works as a benefit to Sudan, deflecting scrutiny without real loss.
Now I get why Sudan was so relaxed about the secession of the South.
A little about who I am and what I do/am interested in:
(over 200 articles published on and off campus since arriving at Columbia; more
pieces edited than written; recreationally author creative pieces, usually in a
magical realist style) • Magical realist prose
(especially J. L. Borges) and Urdu Ghazal poetry (especially Mirza Ghalib) • Buddhist theology, ethics, and philosophy • Cajun cooking • Hiking (especially in
the mountains of the Pacific Northwest) • Film (Pedro Almodovar,
Marc Caro, Hayao Miyazaki, the Coen brothers, and similar directors) • Debate and public speaking • Judo (Beginner)
interests in Islamic law and culture in the non-Arab world, especially Somalia
and Pakistan, and in bureaucratic cultures and pathologies
Have traveled previously to most regions of the United States (most extensively in my native region of the Inland Northwest), Canada, Germany, Ghana, Kenya, Pakistan, and the United Kingdom
- Columbia UniversityReligion and Political Science, 2008 - 2012